WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns today appointed 33 producer members and one importer member to serve on the National Potato Promotion Board, with all terms beginning March 1, 2006, and ending on Feb. 28, 2009.

Reappointed to the board as producer members are: Emory Lee (Buzz) Shahan of Mesa, Ariz.; Roger S. Mix, Center, Colo.; Daniel S. Johns, Elkton, Fla.; Emma L. Atchley, Ashton, Idaho; Nicholas P. Behrend, Aberdeen, Idaho; Gary L. Hansen, Rupert, Idaho; Helen J. Lammey, Caldwell, Idaho; Jann Moss, Declo, Idaho; Alan L. Taylor, Rigby, Idaho; Hugh C. Vieck, Vincennes, Ind.; Kyle J. Lennard, Samaria, Mich.; George D. Cariveau, Angus, Minn.; Peter H. Van Erkel, Hollandale, Minn.; Jeffrey A. Philips, O'Neill, Neb.; Gary M. Mahany, Arkport, N.Y.; Brent N. Heisler, Cando, N.D.; Edward P. Hickman, Jr., Horntown, Va.; Jared W. Balcom, Pasco, Wash.; Frank C. Martinez, Royal City, Wash.; James R. Reimann, Quincy, Wash.; Ted S. Tschirky, Connell, Wash.; and Lawrence A. (Larry) Alsum, Friesland, Wis.

Reappointed to serve in the importer position is Edward H. Barnhill of Winter Garden, Fla.

The following newly appointed producer members are: Kent O. Bitter of Shelley, Idaho; Nicholas M. Cummins, Murtaugh, Idaho; Wayne A. Jensen, Idaho Falls, Idaho; Melanie A. Likes, Shelley, Idaho; Ronald D. Lockwood, Eden, Idaho; Shane R. Webster, Rexburg, Idaho; John C. Probasco, Wrightstown, N.J.; Jimmy A. Harrell, Elizabeth City, N.C.; Todd W. Michael, Urbana, Ohio; Jeff R. Urbach, Sherwood, Ore.; and Daniel B. Connors, Richland, Wash.

Authorized under the 1971 Potato Research and Promotion Act, the Potato Board is composed of producers, importers and a public member appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture. Producer members are nominated at state and local producer meetings and by mail ballot.

Each state is entitled to at least one producer member, and additional members are allotted on the basis of the volume of production. Importer members are nominated by importers, and the number of members is related to the volume of imports, up to a maximum of five importer members.

The board administers an industry-funded national research and promotion program to increase U.S. exports and domestic potato consumption. The USDA Agricultural Marketing Service monitors the operations of the Potato Board.

SOURCE: USDA news release.